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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Steven's tournament report from Auckland NZ Pt II

Steve takes a look at a couple of tournaments down New Zealand way!

Snapshot IV, December 15 2013

Snapshot IV was a fun, Late War, 1575 point 3 round tournament for Flames of War. Having just finished 21 T-34s and 4 SU-122s the army I would be running was clear! At Flamescon, I was often put into defensive situations where I am not comfortable.  I need to attack! So my list for this tournament was 21 T-35/85, 4 SU-122s, and Spetsnaz. Not so subtle, is it?

A similar force being used in a training mission
Game 1: vs Panzer Ausbildungs 500 in Dust Up. With the recent release of Desperate Measures, this was the list I was most worried about.  He had 4 Panthers (Maybe 3?), 3 King Tigers, 4 Panzer IIIs, and some Grenadiers. Through lots of dancing, flank shots from SU-122s, and an incredibly stubborn Spetsnaz platoon, I miraculously pulled a 4-3 out of this debacle, without actually destroying any of his platoons.

A lone spetsnaz team held one objective, and the one remaining Panther was tied to it. I rolled successfully for Sole Survivor probably 5 times. On the other flank, 2 King Tigers (HQ and 1 platoon) got greedy and got a bit too far from the objective. My T-34s swooped in with whatever tanks were left from the Battalion. The King Tigers failed to stormtrooper and I started my turn with the objective in hand. In the end I had 4 tanks and one spetsnaz team left. The Battalion shall now be represented as a Hero Tankovy platoon! Still, I took out 3 Panthers and a King Tiger! Not bad!

Game 2: vs Patrik's Kampfgruppe somethingorother in No Retreat. This is another one of those "by the book" missions. Patrik is one of the coolest dudes down here, and a great Flames of War player. Unfortunately, in this case, his army was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He ran Kampfgruppe Spindler (SS infantry) with 4 88s, some Pak 40s, nebelwerfers, 105s, and other odds and ends in his force. He started with the 88s on the board, and my infiltration put me well within close range of them with 11 T-34s.

With the Spetsnaz removing gone to ground, the 88s were vaporised on the top of 1. Thereafter, that company hooked all the way into Patrik's deployment zone, and knocked out both of his artillery units. The other company got greedy, and actually assaulted some SS infantry in a wood. They died, just like I knew they would. I succumbed to the bloodlust. The other company, however, had now swung back and captured an objective after cutting a swathe through some more of Patrik's force. Now THIS is the kind of deep operation I'm talking about!

Game 3: vs Kit's SS Infantry (Breakthrough). Kit is one of the best players down here, and a dedicated playtester. I forget his exact list composition, but 2 platoons of infantry, nebelwerfers, pak 40s, 3 Panzer IV Hs, some AA, scouts(?) and some 7.5cm infantry guns. I chucked 1 company of T-34s in reserve, and went to work with everything else. Initially, progress was slow.

My SU-122s did a good amount of work, but eventually fell to his Pak 40s and Panzer IVs. Finally, my flank march showed up and we were able to crunch our way through to the objective. I actually can't remember if this was a 5-2 or a 4-3. I just can't remember the fate of my Spetz'! I do know one T-34 company was gutted with 1 or 2 tanks left by the end, but the flank company was in fine shape.  

Conclusion: In the end I had 14 VPs and the winner of the event (Surf) had 15 if I remember correctly.  I was very pleased with the T-34s, and would definitely consider them again in the future.  


Dancon was a hastily organized event put on by Dan Linder (Kingdan's place). The tournament was 1250, late war. For being hasty, it really was a fantastic event! In keeping with tradition with the last event, I decided to take what I had recently completed: IS-2s. For the record, IS-2s usually found themselves burning under my command. Examples: one, two.  The list I settled on was 7 IS-2s with dshk MGs, and tank escorts supported by 4 45mm AT guns, and a one platoon recon company.

Game 1: vs Andrew Haught's Hero Motostrelkovy in Dust Up. I dreaded this match up. I play Andrew a lot, and I know this force really suits him. His Hero Motostrelk is 2 companies with fausts backed up 3 SU-100s, 3 SU-85Ms, mortars, and armored cars. The first few turns went very quickly as neither of us were willing to commit to the attack.  Finally, Andrew's reserves started showing up. Some successful snipes with the SU-100s picked off a few IS-2s. Simultaneously, his SU-85Ms stood toe to toe with my IS-2s on the right for far too long before going down. SU-100s picked off the stragglers, and a motostrelkovy assaulted my Battalion Commander, who was the last tank standing!  2-5 to Andrew. 

IS-2s hiding from SU-100s!

IS-2s dying to SU-85Ms!
Game 2: vs Greg Lockton's British Guards Armour in Pincer. While I was a bit worried about his up-gunned Fireflies, I felt good about this match after winning the dice off to attack. Greg's army consisted of 2 Sherman platoons (one short) each with 1 firefly. 2 M10c Achilles, and 25 pounders with an AOP. Thankfully for me, Greg started with his 25 pounders on the board, and his large Sherman platoon in ambush. I knew this meant I had 3 turns before anything could get to my flanks so I moved the recon aggressively forward, and successfully pushed back his ambush. When his Shermans popped, they had to move a tank or two into the open to contest. While his Firefly nabbed one IS-2, the return fire did them in. When his M10s showed up, the 45mms were ready! ROF 3 and volley fire with AT 8 is just mean. With 2 platoons dead and 1 alive, Greg failed his company morale. With 2 IS-2s lost, the game went 6-1 for me.     

Game 3: vs Mike Haught's US Paratroopers in Cauldron.  Mike took a silly list- US airborne that could all be landed by parachute or glider.  He had 2 massive platoons (with zooks and fausts), Cook, 75mm pack howitzers, armored recce jeeps, and 81mm mortars. Mike didn't like the idea of sitting and letting my breakthrough guns work on him, so elected to attack (which Cook lets him do). Unfortunately, this meant 7 IS-2s got to sit defending 2 objectives in close proximity to each other. In the end, Mike just couldn't get past my wall of defensive fire, and couldn't bring it home. Tank Riders + coax + dshks means 5 dice in defensive fire with 360 coverage! Of course, risking the .50 cal is brave, but with that many dice it just made sense to throw everything at the US paras who had to be ground to a man. 6-1 with the Battalion Commander and 1 IS-2 lost.

Paratroopers were coming from 2 directions!

Conclusions: This event was a blast! I love the smaller format games. IS-2s wound up working for me, but only due to some very lucky match ups and missions. I think they're best suited as a support unit, and I can't really see the full Battalion being terribly competitive in most situations. Perhaps at this point level and even a bit lower, they really shine. In either case, they were really fun to run.

With 2 6-1s and a 2-5, I managed to nab second place.  I truly did not expect to place with IS-2s.  Thanks to Dan for a great event, and to all of my opponents for great games!

You know Steve, he used to work here, now he works for some war gaming company or another. I'm not sure which. :)

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